Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tags: The Good, The Bad, All Ugly

     When I was in high school and just starting to decide what I wanted to do with my photography as a career I would look thru magazines for inspiration from different photography careers. Rolling Stone, Playboy, National Geo., Circus, American Photographer, and the like. I'd thumb thru looking at composition, lighting, trying to understand darkroom techniques and figure out how and why an image made it to the pages of whatever publication was in my hand at the time. I always noticed the small print usually in the lower corners of each image by the border that would read  "photo by, Insert Photographer Name". I thought to myself, man, that is where I wanna be. Right there in small print on the corner of my image. That was the top of the hill. The summit of the mountain I was climbing. 
     Cut to twenty some odd years later and the digital age (I wont go into the discussion that we all have about the backside of digital photography and how many people who picked up a camera last week who now attach the title of Photographer to their Vista Print cards) what with Photoshop being the digital darkroom of choice there are so many options to creating an image the one prevalent theme is to slap ones name to every image produced. I will admit that if you go to some of my images online I am guilty of this as well but have not practiced it in some time. Personally, I find it to be one of the worst trends in the art form. I do not understand putting in hours of work to create an image just to muck it up with a bunch of text and a logo. And some of these logos, well lets just say that if I were a psychologist I am sure I could have a paper published on the direct relation to logo size and ego size.

     I know that this is probably not the most popular stance I have taken. I also know that I have friends in the industry who, if they are reading this now, are thinking, "Hey man, you're talking about me!".  Maybe, but  I am not writing this to criticize or down anyone's work or choices. I just think that there should be a better way. Perhaps thru metadata or EXIF .
     Yes we need recognition for our work. Yes we want credit for our work. I would just like to see it take another form so when we show our work we don't find it necessary to soil it with some sort of brand recognition. Ultimately what I want is for someone to see an image unclouded by Myriad Pro font and say, "I know that photographer. That's 'Insert Photographer's Name '." But until that time if you need to find me, I'll be  in the corner. By the border.

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